Objective: Osteoarthritis is a common disease of the joint cartilage. Since the molecular
pathogenesis of osteoarthritis is not clearly understood, early diagnostic markers and effective therapeutic
agents have not been developed.
Methods and Results: In recent years, there are several studies to elucidate the molecular aspects
based on mouse genetics by using a stress-induced mechanical load model. Chondrocyte hypertrophy,
which is usually seen in growth plate chondrocyte, is also induced in articular cartilage and involved
in the onset of osteoarthritis. Additionally, signal molecules involved in inflammatory cytokine
and matrix proteinase are expected to be target molecules for the fundamental treatment of
early osteoarthritis. Some additional signal molecules, transcription factors and compounds have
been reported to be involved in cartilage homeostasis.
Conclusion: This review sheds light on the current status of various signal molecules for the management